Well it’s new years resolution time and what better way to kick off the new year than to start on a new book. I haven’t really done much writing wise since I stopped running the Facebook Ads for Full Coverage. My goal this year is to self publish at least one more book. Sorry this won’t be a sequel to Full Coverage (though I am collecting ideas for that right now and if all goes to plan that will be the 4th book I self publish), but this will instead be something completely different. I haven’t quite nailed down the tone I want yet but it will be called The Gray Shift and will be a Dr. Strangelove meets 24 dark satirical thriller sort of thing. It’s always tricky explaining how the various bits of my books come together (Well, you see there’s assassins and bioprinting and health insurance and they all go together in a way that makes sense. Wait, where are you going?) especially when I haven’t even finished the outline yet. Continue reading
The Main Difference Between Good and Bad Action Scenes
A while ago I posted a deleted scene that was my “Michael Bay” moment. It was a scene filled to the brim with action and sounded like it would have looked really cool, but it raised no stakes and had no lasting consequences on the characters or the story. One article I found a while ago that helped convince me to cut that scene and write better replacement ones is this article from iO9 called “Why You Should Never Write Action Scenes For Your Blockbuster Movie”. It goes into just enough detail and gives some good examples to help you tell if you are making a kick-ass plot driving Matrix style action scene, or a time wasting pointless Matrix: Reloaded action scene. This part in particular makes things very clear:
The second big action sequence: rescuing Morpheus. The choices Neo makes and abilites he shows actually evolve the story and his character. He’s learning about the nature of the world. Learning to sacrifice. Going from a watcher to a participant. The action is simply the lens through which we see this growth — the visually arresting, badass lens. This sequence is particularly noteworthy, as you can actually track its internal three-act progression of Neo quite clearly.
“I may not be the One, but I’m going to help my guy.”
“You moved like they do.”
“Holy shit, he is the One.”
I’m starting to plot out my next book and now that I know these things beforehand, I hopefully won’t waste as much time writing chapters that will just wind up getting cut out completely.
Deleted Scenes: The Dreaded Infodump
In my early drafts of Full Coverage (before meeting my awesome editor!) I fell into the same trap that many indie writers do. I described things in way too much detail and let the world building kill the pacing and drag the story down. In this Deleted Scene, we will go over one of the most egregious instances of this and what I did to fix it. There will be some mild spoilers involved in describing this scene so if you haven’t read Full Coverage: An Action Comedy yet, please go and check it out on Kindle or Paperback on Amazon first and then come back here.
This scene was the original beginning of the book. Kyle has been captured by the Latin Yakuza boss he was hired to kill and is chained the floor of the “event” cell with a machete stuck in his enhanced arm. In the final version of the book these events take place in Chapter 2, but this was the original start of the book until Rev 08. For comparison, the final released version of the book is Rev 10. Continue reading
How I Changed Kyle from an Asshole to an Antihero
When I was first outlining Full Coverage, my original idea was to make Kyle a total asshole in order to show how when compared to an insurance company even a total asshole like Kyle seemed like a good guy. This was not a good idea. Writing a book filled with nothing but self-centered assholes isn’t very fun and it wouldn’t have been fun to read either. It’s like watching a sporting event between two teams you hate. The only thing you can root for are injuries and maybe a meteor.
This led me to put a note in my OneNote outline sheet saying: Error on the side of FUN. If it isn’t fun to write it won’t be FUN to READ!
Even with this new focus on making things fun, my early readers consistently told me that I needed to make Kyle more likable. While doing some research on how to do that, I found this article called: Of Assholes and Antiheroes: Morality in ‘Borderlands 2 over at popmatters. It’s a really neat analysis comparing Max Payne (antihero), Kratos (asshole), the Vault Hunters (antiheros) and Handsome Jack (asshole). Sure it’s about video games and not books, but the idea is the same. Continue reading
Full Coverage featured in The Story Works Guide to Writing Point of View
My awesome editor just published a book on writing with different narrative points of view and two snippets from Full Coverage made it in as examples of third person omniscient narration, woohoo!
Deleted Scenes: My Michael Bay Moment
Over the course of writing Full Coverage, I wound up cutting out a lot of stuff that didn’t work. Now that the book is out I thought it would be fun to do some “deleted scenes” posts to take a look at what got cut out and why. There will be some mild spoilers involved in describing this scene so if you haven’t read Full Coverage: An Action Comedy yet, please go and check it out on Kindle or Paperback on Amazon first and then come back here.
The excerpt below is from Chapter 21 in Rev 05 of the book, which was the first draft I sent out to my friends to read back in November 2015. For comparison, the final version of the book is Rev 10 and the text for that was done in March 2017. This scene would have taken place right before Chapter 15 in the final version of the book.
In this scene Kyle goes to a PrintStop, a futuristic version of Kinko’s that has 3D printers in it, to print out the parts for his silenced pistol and some knives for the hit he is about to do. While he’s there a couple of Latin ninjas ambush him. They then fight it out, pulling freshly printed weapons out of the printers as they try to kill each other. Sounds like it should be awesome right? It wasn’t. This chapter was universally disliked by all the people who read that draft of the book. Continue reading
Launch Report: Full Coverage
It’s been a little over a month since Full Coverage: An Action Comedy launched so I thought it would be fun to take a look at how well my first attempt at self-publishing a book went. Here are the overall totals between launch on 4/1 and today 5/9:
Ebooks sold: 32
Paperbacks sold: 15
Kindle Standard Pages Read: 2,402
Full Coverage is 234 “Kindle Standard Equivalent” pages long so that 2,402 pages read means that 10.26 people (2,402/234) read it on Kindle Unlimited. Why the 0.26? Because Kindle Unlimited only pays authors for pages read, and a few people started it without finishing the whole book.
That gives me 57 readers total in the first month, sweet! Continue reading
A Tale of Two Facebook Ads
When Full Coverage first went on sale on April 1st I started running Facebook ads using the ad below. Let’s call this Ad # 1.
Full Coverage: An Action Comedy Now On Sale!
Full Coverage: An Action Comedy is now available for Kindle on Amazon! The Kindle ebook is only $0.99 until 4/8. If you like it, please leave me a review. I just approved the paperback proof so it should show up sometime next week.
Full Coverage: An Action Comedy Available for Pre-Order!
Full Coverage: An Action Comedy is now available for pre-order on Amazon! The Kindle ebook will go live on 4/1 and is only $0.99 until 4/8. The paperback should follow a week or so after that. If you like it, please leave a review for me.